The Chinese Lunar New Year is upon us and the arrival of the humble rat signifies the start of a new cycle in the Chinese calendar. To mark this significant start to a new year, Swiss watchmaker Jaquet Droz has shone a spotlight on its Ateliers d’Art by featuring four limited series of its Petite Heure Minute watch.
On the watch, the rat will take centre stage on each of Jaquet Droz’s timepieces. The rat is an omen of plentiful harvest and represents a sign of prosperity. Fittingly so, in each of Jaquet Droz’s creations, the rat has been paired with the pomegranate, a symbol of life and fertility.
These four highly exclusive models showcase Jaquet Droz’s Ateliers d’Art whose work brings naturalistic scenes to life. The first two models (Petite Heure Minute 35 mm and 39 mm) depict two rats on a bed of leaves dotted with pomegranates, set on a Grand Feu enamel dial.
Both variations are produced in red gold, and the 35 mm model is set entirely with diamonds (case and pallet lugs). The case back of both models houses an oscillating weight designed especially for this limited series of 28 pieces. A second scene, engraved in red gold, depicts two rats revelling in a basket of pomegranates, continuing the metaphor of prosperity, abundance and intelligence.
For the 41 mm version, the Petite Heure Minute is available in two other animal-inspired variations that explore the same theme yet feature an onyx dial in a shade of black that is as pure as it is intense. This incredibly deep black serves as the backdrop for a Rat holding a pomegranate in its hands. These two prestigious pieces are crafted in either red gold or white gold (case, rat, hands, and oscillating weight engraving). In addition, the white gold version is set with 272 diamonds that illuminate its ring and pallet lugs with radiant sparkle while creating contrast with the dark intensity of onyx.
For each of these versions set with jewels, pomegranates are symbolized by rubies, which are arranged in a snow setting to depict multiple arils at the 9 o’clock position, while one larger ruby is used for the seed in the Rat’s hands. This combination of precious materials (diamonds, gold and rubies) reinforces the natural qualities of the Rat, a passionate, ambitious, creative animal, and a symbol of prosperity. Each of these creations has been issued in a strictly limited edition of eight pieces, in keeping with the purest tradition of Jaquet Droz’s Numerus Clausus artistic creations.
According to Jaquet Droz the recommended retail price for the watches are:
- Petite Heure Minute Rat (35mm, with diamonds) – MYR 139,500
- Petite Heure Minute Rat (39mm) – MYR 113,800
- Petite Heure Minute Relief Rat in red gold – MYR 260,700
- Petite Heure Minute Rat in white gold – MYR 299,500